A member of Thanet council’s top officer team has been suspended.
The authority’s monitoring officer Tim Howes has been absent since the end of last year although a reason for his suspension has not been made public.
Last month a meeting of the General Purposes Investigations & Disciplinary Sub-Committee was held. The purpose of this committee is to “ consider allegations/issues regarding disciplinary matters relating to the Head of Paid Service, the S.151 Officer and the Monitoring Officer.
“To review existing decisions to suspend and to suspend the Head of Paid Service, Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer.”
It is understood that the decision to “move forward” and suspend Mr Howes was agreed.
A letter sent to council staff today (February 1) confirmed the suspension but added that it was a ‘neutral act’ without inference of guilt.
Mr Howes is the second senior management team officer to be suspended by the authority in the last two years.
In 2019 deputy chief executive Tim Willis was suspended. Mr Willis, who oversees the Housing and Planning service, Communications and Digital, Finance and Procurement and leads digital transformation across the council’s services, was reinstated a month later after being cleared on all counts of gross misconduct allegations.
Thanet council says it is unable to comment on the suspension. An “Acting monitoring officer” is currently carrying out duties.